Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gaudin Makes His Post-Season Pitch

Gaudin Makes His Pitch

Written for Baseball Digest Online

The Yankees‘ post-clinch starting lineup last night looked like a spring training road game. A few regulars were mixed in with reserves, and players that won’t be on the post-season roster, as the Yankees took on the Kansas City Royals. After a nearly two hour rain delay, plan ‘B’ lineup or not, the Yankees rolled over the Royals 8-2 as Chad Gaudin made a pitch to help his post-season cause.

The right-hander limited KC to 2 runs and 4 hits through 6 2-3 innings. Over his last four appearances (23 innings), Gaudin has allowed 9 earned runs (3.13 ERA) and struck out 16. Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman will now weigh the option of starting either Gaudin or Joba Chamberlain should the Yankees advance beyond the division series. At the very least, Gaudin could play a significant part of the post-season bullpen.

Gaudin wasn’t the only one with a good night. Rookie Ramiro Pena hit his first major league home run and then was greeted by the silent treatment in the Yankees dugout. Jorge Posada broke the silence and Pena’s teammates mobbed him with high fives, head rubs, and well wishes.

Mr. “I don’t hit well with the bases loaded” (or for that matter with men on base), Robinson Cano, broke open a 4-2 game in the 7th with his second career grand slam. It was Cano’s 25th home run, joining Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui, and Nick Swisher at that plateau. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Cano also became just the third 2nd baseman in the last 70 years (Bret Boone and Alfonso Soriano were the others) to have a 200-hit, 25-HR season. He also became only the 4th Yankees in that same time period to record the feat. Don Mattingly, Bernie Williams, and Soriano were the others.

Game Notes

A.J. Burnett will start tonight for the Yankees against Anthony Lerew. Burnett was originally scheduled to start Monday’s game, but was pushed back a day so that he could be home for his father’s triple bypass surgery.

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